“We are very excited about this news, which we view as an investment in our workforce,” says Andy Hedgpeth, vice president of Human Resources at CoxHealth. “Despite the challenges of this past year, we feel that this is a very important move for us to make to help our employees, both current and future, know that we value their work and how important they are to our organization.”
The move, which becomes effective in April 2021, is part of a plan to regularly increase CoxHealth’s minimum wage, which last rose in January 2019. In addition to future hires, the 2021 change impacts more than 5,500 CoxHealth employees, who will also receive raises under the adjustment. The shift affects employees throughout the health system.
This growth is only one change in recent months to recognize employees for their exceptional work. In late 2020, $8 million was invested in market adjustments for nursing and allied health employees. Between that change and the entry level wage adjustment, around 9,300 employees at CoxHealth – approximately 75% of the health care system – will have received a boost in pay in the last few months.
Additionally, in April 2020, CoxHealth awarded employees in good standing with the highest percentage increase in wages in more than a decade, and created a new incentive program that provided additional merit to the highest performing 30% of the workforce.
Besides the benefit the increase has for employees directly, these changes will ultimately facilitate improved organizational performance, and retain employees for longer periods of time, increasing efficiency and cutting costs across the organization.
“One of our primary focuses is ensuring that our employees know how important they are to us, and to our patients. All employees, regardless of which department they work in, are crucial to giving exceptional health care,” says Steve Edwards, president and CEO of CoxHealth. “This move was also overwhelmingly backed by our Board of Directors, all of whom are local and are invested in this community. I think the change speaks to their support of our employees.”
An added benefit to this change includes a more transparent method of communicating pay rates, which allows employees to understand their career choices and the compensation associated with them.